The Jan Wallander Prize was instituted by Handelsbanken in collaboration with KMH, and is awarded annually to an outstanding student at one of the institutions for higher musical education in Sweden. In addition to the honor of the laureate the winner gets the opportunity to use an instrument of extremely high quality, which is added to the collection Handelsbanken Classic Instruments.
The prize has been given the name of Handelsbanken's former CEO and chairman, Jan Wallander.
Victoria Stjerna received his prize instrument from the Acting Vice-Chancellor of KMH, Professor Staffan Scheja, at a ceremony on March 30 in the newly inaugurated Royal Hall at KMH in Stockholm. The international jury consisted this year of the two violinists Elina Vähälä (Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe) and Olivier Charlier (Conservatory of Music in Paris), and Professor Staffan Scheja.
In its citation the jury says:
This year's winner of the Jan Wallander Prize is a violinist with a strong musical and personal charisma. With superb technique and warm sound her interpretations are permeated of great artistry.
- It is a fantastic feeling, I am very happy! It feels like a very great honor to receive the prize, says Victoria Stjerna.
- The violin is absolutely wonderful, Victoria continues. It has a deep, but very warm sound. It sounds really great outwards - it feels great to play on it, the instrument responds instantly!
The next few years Victoria is involved in several competitions in Sweden, and participates as a semifinalist in the televised contest Virtuoso soloist in Hungary. She will also play as a finalist in the largest Swedish chamber music competition "Young and Promising" with "Duo Vina", together with KMH student and pianist Natalia Kremska.
Victoria Stjerna was born in 1992 in Gothenburg, where her violin teachers was László Szirányi, former violist of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
Since 2012 Victoria studies for Prof. Per Enoksson at KMH/Edsberg Manor, currently at masters level. She has concurrently participated in several master classes both in Sweden and abroad: this year for professors Ulf Wallin at Hanns Eisler Academy in Berlin and Pavel Vernikov at the University für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. She is also in regular contact with her mentor, the violin virtuoso Roby Lakatos. Together with him, she played in 2016 as a soloist in a radio live concert with the Swedish Wind Ensemble.
Victoria Stjernas contest awards include:
• national finalist in Polstjärnepriset, a national solo competition for young Swedish soloist-talented, with the winner selected to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Young Musicians biennial
• second prize and the audience award in the Sound-soloist, an international competition between Swedish and Danish young talent, with the motivation "best musicianship"
• First Prize in the Swedish Championship for Young Strings, a national competition held in Vasteras, directed by RUM (National Association Young Musicians)
In 2017, Victoria Stjerna received the prestigious Guido Vecchi scholarship.
Victoria Stjerna and former KMH student and pianist Natalia Kremska have formed Duo Vina, who are finalists in the 2017 edition of Young & Promising, the largest chamber music competition.
Victoria Stjerna was also highlighted in the SVT documentary Blood, Sweat and Strings (2011), where three young classical musicians talents were followed in their daily lives toward the dream to be able to become a soloist.
Victoria Stjerna together with previous years' winners of the Jan Wallander Prize. Photo: Stefan Nilsson.
Guest artist and former KMH student Kristin Amparo with previous winners of the Jan Wallander Prize. Photo: Stefan Nilsson.
This year's prize instrument, a violin built in Venice in 1750 by Michele Deconet.